Friday, December 23, 2022

A "festive" Christmas recipe and some reader comments

Holiday greetings from the land of the cats at Montebello Manor in the lower Sonoran Desert. Instead of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder, Blixem and Rudolph, we have Banjo, Monkey, Titan, Orange, Autumn, Spice, Smokey, Bandit, Panda, Toffee, Nebula, Dusty, Socks and Osmond Portifoy (two-thirds of whom have colds 😟); plus holiday house guests Pengin, Phantom, PT, LP and Ice Bear; and favored outdoor strays Mamacita and her kittens Nubbins and Cirque. As we say dozens of times a day, "That's a lot of cats."

But I was hoping to check in at least once more before the end of the year. So here's a page from a 1955 magazine touting Fruit Cocktail Eggnog Pie, using Knox Unflavored Gelatin. Please let me know if you've ever had this delicacy. In 2015, the writer of the blog Grandma's Leftovers documented making this pie in the present day with a series of photos and the verdict was: "The ‘pie’ actually tasted pretty good. It wasn’t super eggnoggy because of the whipped cream, and it wasn’t too sweet either. Like I said, it was kind of like an eggnog pudding with fruit in it, and it was pretty good. I’d be tempted to make it again sometime with more gelatin to eat it as it’s meant to be eaten, maybe someday."

* * *

Also, y'all continue to do a far better job of providing content than I do, so I want to share the reader comments that have come in since mid-August before they get lost in the mists of time:

Inspirational Soviet postcard from the 1960s: Uliana writes: "Great postcard. And here you can read about Russian cursive"

Lamenting what we'll never know about Phyllis J. Stalnaker Harris: Anonymous writes: "Those kind of vague charges were used all over the U.S for years. I was arrested (and convicted) for 'lounging in the doorway' when I was 17 back in 1982. In the state where I live, there's a catch-all phrase that has been used to cover a lot of different types of offenses. It's called 'Disorderly Conduct.' Basically, if a cop doesn't like you, you disagree with him, walk away from him or if he's having a bad day, you can be charged with it."

Additionally, Stephilius, who blogs at Gods and Foolish Grandeur, writes: "Thank you for this, Chris. People's lives should be told with respect, not for laughter or to make a buck."

"It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.": Anonymous writes: "Thanks for sharing the info about the podcast [Eaten by a Grue]. I'll have to check it out! I was a big fan of the Infocom games when I was a kid. While everyone else was blowing up invading aliens on their Commodore 64 or Apple IIe, I was exploring underground, praying my lantern's battery would last just a bit longer."

Cheerful Card Company can help you earn extra money for the holidays: In the summer of 2021, an anonymous commenter stated that their uncle was Thomas Doran, who sold Cheerful Card Company in 1966 and died in 1970. In October, "A Hoey" wrote in to add, "Tom Doran’s sister Eveline was my Grandad's first wife. She passed away a year after my aunt (half) Joan was born, Tom’s niece. Would love to know how you’re connected! Tom sold the company For $10 million in 1966 but not sure to whom."

OK, I'm totally not following that family tree. But, checking with The Inflation Calculator, $10 million in 1966 is the equivalent about about $86.5 million today, so Cheerful Card Company was clearly a resounding success.

However, another commenter wrote in to add this less-than-flattering portrait of working for the company: "I worked there in the summer of 1965. It was the most horrible place I have ever worked. Stuck in a back room with no a/c and no windows and we were not allowed to speak to anyone ever, among other things."

Scholastic Fest: #13, The Witch House and Other Tales...: Anonymous writes: "I was trying to track down what book had Jonathan Moulton's story in it and this post was so helpful. Thanks!"

Night of Household Items #4: "Makes your toilet paper sing!": Anonymous writes: "I had one that played 'The Star-Spangled Banner" and all our guests at our party loved it."

Photo: 1926 Army-Navy game at Chicago's Soldier Field: Anonymous writes: "Thank you! Been searching for these photographs. The football photo, bless you. Grandpa Howard Caldwell, and best-friend Tommy Hamilton, were playing for Navy. You've created an amazing website. So many interesting topics!"

A happy ending as an old, inscribed book returns home: You'll have to read through the long original post for any of this to make sense, but Pam Cowan writes: "Thanks for this little bit of information. I am the great niece of Nellie Walcroft, Clear Annie Cameron’s traveling companion. I have wondered about Nellie and Clear’s friendship. I don’t know when it began but it may have been a long standing friendship from well before their trip on the Titanic. Nellie had a younger sister named Clara Annie Walcroft who was born when Nellie was 15 years old. Nellie was 37 when she and Clear were on the Titanic. Nellie didn’t marry until she was 47 years old and then she lived with her husband in Brooklyn, NY. If Clear lived in the UK and Nellie lived in the US their friendship would have had to continue mostly via correspondence."

Sunday's postcard: Nebraska's Crowell Memorial Home, circa 1910: Anonymous adds this update about the building's history and ultimate fate: "Sadly, while Crowell Home the nursing/independent living community still exists just down the hill from the image, the Crowell Mansion itself was demolished in November 1971 — two weeks before final approval of a federal designation as a National Historic Site. There was a small group in town who wanted to preserve the mansion, but a far larger group who couldn't see the value of historic preservation in this case. Shortly before the designation, the mansion was structurally vandalized such that restoration was impossible."

Mild Fear 2022 mea culpa: Shawn Marie Mann of Cookbook Chat was very kind and wrote: "Never a time limit with blogging — you do it when you can. Thank you so much for taking care of those kitties! 

I'm trying!
That's Spice in the first photo and Smokey in the second photo. And I'm wearing my great-grandfather's plaid shirt, which he used to put on for autumn yardwork in the 1970s.